Morphology Data of Anomalochromis thomasi
Identification keys
Main Ref. Teugels, G.G. and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 2003
Appearance refers to
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs
Different appearance
Different colors
Remarks Sexual dimorphism poorly developed; males about 25% larger than females, with more elongated dorsal and anal fin rays; ripe females with a rounder belly than males; no visible sexual differences in coloration (Ref. 52307).

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features
Body shape lateral
Cross section
Dorsal head profile
Type of eyes
Type of mouth/snout
Position of mouth
Type of scales

Description: mouth small; snout rounded to pointed (Ref. 52307). Outer jaw teeth mixed uni- and bicuspid, inner jaw teeth unicuspid, pharyngeal jaw teeth bicuspid; micro-gill rakers present; scales ctenoid (Ref. 53405).

Coloration: yellowish, with 6 black cross bars and a wide, black, opercular blotch; first bar located above opercular spot, the following 3 more or less distinctly prolonged unto dorsal fin, the third and sixth inflated at midpoint; distal margin of spinous part of dorsal fin light; no "tilapian" mark at beginning of soft part of dorsal fin, a character allowing distinction of this species from young Tilapia; pelvic fins dark with outer rays black (Ref. 53405). Dorsal, caudal and anal fins clear to pale bluish with small dots and/or lines; pelvic fins bluish to violet with a darker anterior edge; large black spot can usually be seen in the body's center, but can disappear at times; body scales typically with a blue iridescent center; some rows of small red spots may be present on anterior areas of body; when courting or aggressive, body coloration becomes brighter and scale centers become more intense, making entire fish appear bluish; when spawning, color pattern really changes as 5-6 dark vertical bars appear (with 1st running directly through eye) and gain intensity as broodcare progresses; as bars get darker, all other colors get toned down and fish looses its brilliance, becoming rather dusky in appearance; black bars rarely visible during non-spawning situations (Ref. 52307). Two other morphs are described from aquarium imports: (1) believed to have come from Guinea; black spot in middle of body more ovoid (vs. rounded); dorsal region with a black dot on every scale; basic body coloration more pale yellowish; most notable feature is presence of black bars on body in nearly every situation, these bars also broader and more intense during breeding; if not for the small pale bars in between, dark bars would sometimes make entire fish appear black (Ref. 52307). (2) based on a single specimen, possibly also from Guinea; body light brown with iridescent yellow on opercles and flanks; black lateral spot extremely small; body scales with bluish centers; thin longitudinal stripe sometimes visible (Ref. 52307). It is not clear whether these color morphs are really morphs of one species or represent separate species (Ref. 52307).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Anomalochromis thomasi

Lateral Lines 2 Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line 24 - 25
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle 16
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb 7 - 8
on upper limb


Dorsal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   0
Ventral  0
Spines total 14 - 15
Soft-rays total 8 - 10
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin


Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 3 - 3
Soft-rays total 7 - 9

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  
Pelvics Attributes  
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Musschoot, Tobias
Modified by Musschoot, Tobias
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